FCC Bristol works to stop Gun Violence

On March 5, 2024, faith leaders from across all of Rhode Island's denominations gathered at the State House to make a joint statement to state legislators about the urgent and morally imperative need to pass current proposed legislation in support of the safe storage of weapons and a ban on assault weapons. FCC Bristol minister, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Hamlin Soukup, was among this impressive group.  Parishioners Sue and Tony Morettini numbered among the organizers, as volunteers in the Rhode Island Chapter of Moms Demand Action.  Parishioner State Representative Susan Donovan joined fellow legislators and other FCC Bristol congregants in the audience in support of the legislation.

Because surrounding states including Massachusetts and Connecticut have banned the sale of assault weapons, Rhode Island has become the “go to” state for the purchase of these weapons of mass killing.

Ministers spend their lives looking for the words that will move people to do the right thing. It is so impressive when one hears such a condensed outpouring of eloquence coming from 13 faith leaders. Among the powerful words from all of the ministers, the Rev. Elizabeth Lerner Maclay, senior minister at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, stated: “for those who ignore or resist these bills, your choices are undemocratic. They are irresponsible. We are not willing to wait for the mass deaths of our children, our congregants, our families, our people … to the unstoppably vicious and powerful projectiles of an AR-15 … and then pass this legislation.”

Rev. Soukup’s remarks drew upon one of her February sermons, holding up the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. regarding the necessity of joining love to power, recognizing the power of love, in the quest for change.

The statement signed by Rhode Island’s faith leaders, along with Everytown for Gun Safety and other advocates, calling on all Elected State Executive and Legislative Officials, and all Citizens of Rhode Island to uphold the universal truth that human life is a sacred gift of God and to pass gun-safety legislation this session, was read out. It stated, in part:

“We, the undersigned, and all those who stand with us, together and today proclaim that gun violence in our nation is a grave injustice that has caused the appalling loss of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and inflicted insufferable pain on millions more.

“When these tragedies occur, we often send our thoughts and prayers…. It is not enough,” the statement said.

“It is, indeed, our moral obligation to take action to stop the needless horrors wrought by the many forms of gun violence…. those who die by gun suicide … [and those] murdered, wounded and scarred in spaces we have long thought were safe: places of worship, schools, shopping malls, roads, theaters, grocery stores.”

Many members of the press were present. Channel 12 televised a segment on this event during their evening news on March 5.

One Reply to “FCC Bristol works to stop Gun Violence”

  1. I am so pleased that these people have come together to remind us and our chosen leaders to do what they must know is the best choice.

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